Welcome to another weekly round-up, where we share (what we see as) the most interesting and important articles and essays from the previous seven days. We’d love to hear your thoughts on any of the issues covered in our chosen links, which include everything from Cable Street and contraception to Elena Ferrante and Kim Kardashian.
As always, linking to articles does not mean endorsement from the F-Word and certain links may be triggering. We welcome debate in the comments section and on Facebook/Twitter but remind readers that any comments containing sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic or disablist language will be deleted immediately.
If you notice that we’ve missed out any important articles from the past week, feel free to let us know.
From the article: “And I wasn’t the only one: it seemed the whole world had a delayed reaction. There seemed to be more of a concern of what this was doing for Kim Kardashian West The Brand, rather than Kim Kardashian West, the human being. Was it a publicity stunt? Then, nastier reactions: the NRA used her attack to sneer at anti-gun lobbyists. An ex-bodyguard has already piped up to say he’s ‘certain’ it was an inside job. Finally, the victim-blaming quadrant of the internet ushered themselves into the ring, the voices that said: well, if you will flaunt your wealth on Instagram, what do you expect?”
From the article: “It’s hard to think in the heat of the moment, when you’re each firing responses back and forth. In the moment I was just like every other clueless ‘well-intentioned’ white person unable to see her privilege. The discussions sure didn’t seem ‘productive’ at the time. But often, after sitting on what was said over a few hours, a few days, maybe even weeks or months, I eventually realized that I was wrong, that I had been ignorant. Their point would finally sink in. I finally ‘got it.'”
From the article: “It’s no longer enough to debate whether ‘porn‘ is a good or bad thing. It’s no longer enough to wave a flag for the occasional independent producer, or virtuously declare that we don’t watch PornHub. We need to start scrutinising porn the way we would any other genre of media. We need to question the motivations of powerful ‘entertainment media’ companies like MindGeek, in the same way we’d scrutinise news outlets and influential aggregators like Google. These companies do more than just reflect society’s tastes: they shape them.”
From the article: “And therein lies the rub: the idea that women should only have terminations for reasons someone else finds acceptable. How about if a woman feels too young to have a baby, or too poor, or doesn’t want to be tied to the man she conceived with for the rest of her life, or she doesn’t want a third baby, or any baby at all – are these permissible reasons for a termination? They are all pretty common ones. Or is it just a Down’s syndrome diagnosis that is deemed an unacceptable cause for an abortion? In more controversial areas, such as sex-selection abortion, the correct approach is to tackle the attitudes behind it, not ban abortion per se. Similarly, with Down’s syndrome screening what needs examining is the image around the syndrome and the way doctors discuss it, not the screening itself. It’s the attitudes, not the science, that’s the problem. Science is what gives women the choice.”
From the article: “It isn’t an exaggeration to say that there is a mild totalitarian undercurrent not just in call-out culture but also in how progressive communities police and define the bounds of who’s in and who’s out. More often than not, this boundary is constructed through the use of appropriate language and terminology – a language and terminology that are forever shifting and almost impossible to keep up with. In such a context, it is impossible not to fail at least some of the time. And what happens when someone has mastered proficiency in languages of accountability and then learned to justify all of their actions by falling back on that language? How do we hold people to account who are experts at using anti-oppressive language to justify oppressive behaviour? We don’t have a word to describe this kind of perverse exercise of power, despite the fact that it occurs on an almost daily basis in progressive circles…”
The image is used under a creative commons license with thanks to clogsilk on Flickr. It is a photo showing the vibrant mural that depicts the Battle of Cable Street in 1936 between the British Union of Fascists, anti-fascist groups and the police. According to the photographer, the image was captured during a Derelict London walking tour of Wapping and Shadwell.